Epistemology and the Social

Front Cover
Evandro Agazzi, Javier Echeverría, Amparo Gómez Rodríguez
Rodopi, 2008 - Philosophy - 231 pages
Epistemology had to come to terms with “the social” on two different occasions. The first was represented by the dispute about the epistemological status of the “social” sciences, and in this case the already well established epistemology of the natural sciences seemed to have the right to dictate the conditions for a discipline to be a science. But the social sciences could successfully vindicate the legitimacy of their specific criteria for scientificity. More recently, the impact of social factors on the construction of our knowledge (including scientific knowledge) has reversed, in a certain sense, the old position and promoted social inquiry to the role of a criterion for evaluating the purport of cognitive (including scientific) statements. But this has undermined the traditional characteristics of objectivity and rigor that seem constitutive of science. Moreover, in order to establish the real extent to which social conditionings have an impact on scientific knowledge one must credit sociology with a sound ground of reliability, and this is not possible without a preliminary “epistemological” assessment. These are some of the topics discussed in this book, both theoretically and with reference to concrete cases.
 

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Contents

A Feedback Loop
19
Historical and Transcendental Factors in the Construction of the Sciences
33
Puzzles and Problems
49
Normativity and SelfInterest in Scientific Research
71
PART 2 VALUES IN THE STRUCTURE OF SCIENCE
83
Economic Values in the Configuration of Science
85
The Philosophical Impact of Technoscience or the Development of a Pragmatic Philosophy of Science
113
PART 3 SOCIAL IMPACT ON PARTICULAR SCIENCE
127
Social Factors in the Development of Genetics and the Lysenko Affair
143
The Case of Marxism
157
PART 4 EPISTEMOLOGY OF THE SOCIAL SCIENCES
171
Bounded Rationality in Social Sciences
173
The Role of Shared Values
191
What Do We Know?
207
The Cosmopolitan Vision
225
Copyright

Epistemology and the Social in Contemporary Natural Science
129

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